Memories of Don 'Squirrel' Williams '42

Donald Williams '43as posted on Omega Chapter's Facebook group by Dick Crowers

Donald 'Squirrel' Williams '42 was special.

Donald and Dale Rauch '42 lived across the hall from each other - 3rd floor north. I roomed with both from 1941 to 1943. Squirrel was great at math. He studied Thermo with Dale across the hall usually lying on Dale's bed, slide rule in hand, cigarettes in back pocket so he had to raise himself up to get a cigarette. Squirrel came to Theta Chi because his older brother had been there. When he got there (famous story) he was sitting in the dining room smoking and Mrs. Gifford came in and said, "Little boy, does your mother know you smoke". In a flash Squirrel replied, "Madam, I'll have you know I'm 16". His escapades and comments were great.

Squirrel came back from holiday one time with a four door 1936 Ford convertible. That's what took us to famers' barns to collect pigeons for the theater. Squirrel did the driving; Bob Thompson '43 climbed the barn rafters in the dark to get the birds; we brought them back and put them in a makeshift pen in Dale's room. Then we took them to the Cathaum theater to let loose when the house was full. They had to shoot them down eventually.

Squirrel answered most math questions by pointing out the calculus part and then describing the following algebra as "Rano, gano, heino, geen." Occasionally if he puzzled you he'd say ,"Geetzo faz". Don't say we're strange - just nutty.

When friends of his came up from Philly they raided the Beta Theta Pi house, stole their barrel of beer, set it up in Squirrel's room on the third floor and we all filled our glasses.

When we all went to Bellefonte in Squirrel's Ford to the Penn Belle drinking and one guy got into it with a customer (can't say his name - he became president of his company and is dead now) and got punched. What a mess. We made a return visit in the Ford and now I mustn't continue. I don't want to upset relatives.

Somehow he managed to acquire a phone from the Brockerhoff hotel in Bellefonte, got the dial speed synchronized, after some rude conversation with a poor innocent lady somewhere, and finally was able to call to Giff to see what was available for breakfast.

Despite his always saying he wasn't going to be a soldier, he was anyway and later became chief engineer of New Departure. Then I lost professional track. When Dale Rauch was dying, I got Squirrel to make the trip to Allentown to see him. It was too late; Dale didn't know him anymore. Heart breaking for me too.

Dick Crowers '45